An interesting story of a Russian woman living in Finland on a retirement of 720 euros is published by Tinkov-Zhurnal. The heroine is 69 years old, she moved to Turku from Leningrad in 1996, having married a Finn. The total family income is 1,994 euros, which is quite small for expensive Finland, so you have to save. However, the heroine does it in such a way that there is enough money for everything without compromising the quality of life.
“I like the commitment and perseverance of the Finns, their hard work and punctuality. And I also like the order, confidence in the future and the absence of force majeure. Finland has become my second homeland...”, - she first of all notes.
The heroine's income consists of a Finnish pension of 600 € and a Russian one - 120 €. Husband's pension - 1274 €. At the same time, the family manages to save 100-200 € a month for travel and emergencies, such as surgery or expensive medicine.
Before the pandemic, they traveled 3-4 times a year: two short trips and two longer ones - to Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Cyprus ... depending on the location. Let's say a trip to Stockholm cost 200 € for two - a 2-day ferry ride with a cabin and a day in the city. Etc...
* A 2-room apartment in a good district of Turku and a country house with all amenities 40 km from the city where they live throughout the pandemic, once a week coming to the city apartment to wash their clothes, check their mail and water the flowers.
* Car - Toyota Corolla 2006 - 10,000 €
In the USSR, the heroine worked as an engineer, and did not live, but survived on 110 R salaries per month. And then in Russia, left with two children without a husband, she worked in an advertising agency, in the state insurance and as a cleaner.
In Finland, having learned the language, she completed courses for nurses, kitchen workers and cleaners, worked in a hospice for 1400 €:
“It's like a subway train - a stop, the doors opened, someone came out and disappeared into the crowd. Forever and ever.
Despite this, I liked the hospital: I myself could decide what and when to do..."
The author goes on to list the recurring costs.
* Utility bills: 280 € per apartment: water, lift, garbage collection, cleaning and parking.
* Food: about 260 € per month.
* Gasoline: about 200 € per month.
* Firewood: approximately 200 € quarterly.
* Insurance: 750 € per year for all types of insurance.
It includes insurance against accidents and illness on trips for 50 € per year, as well as comprehensive insurance, which includes all kinds of risks: repair of any breakdown, even if the accident occurred through our fault, towing and provision of another car during the repair, compensation for damage for stolen or a wrecked car. This insurance costs 400 € per year. And that's a 70% discount price for a trouble-free ride!
Household and summer cottage insurance - about 300 € per year.
“We also have health insurance for residents of the European Union, which gives the right to receive assistance in all EU countries on an equal basis with local ones. We do not pay for it..."
* Car maintenance: on average 50 € per month for inspection, some spare parts, consumables. Once every 2-3 years we buy a set of wheels.
* Gifts: approximately 50 € per month for daughters and grandchildren.
* Beauty: haircut - 50 €.
* Taxes: property tax per cottage - 160 € per year, transport tax - 240 € per year.
In Finland, the tax rate depends on many factors: year of birth, marital status, the presence of minor children, etc. To avoid confusion, the state sends everyone tax returns, which indicate how much to pay. They also write on what amount of annual income a person will pay tax. The higher the earnings, the higher the tax. If a person earns more than was indicated, then from this income he will have to pay an additional tax at an increased rate.
* Health: medicines are expensive in Finland. For example, the author paid 65 € for vitamins and remedies for heartburn, but if they are prescribed by a doctor, the insurance will reimburse up to 70% of the cost.
* Sauna: 25-30 €. In Finland, there is a sauna in every apartment building for all residents, and in new buildings - in every apartment, this is a national treasure, which was included in the UNESCO cultural heritage last year.
* Household goods: about 20 € per month - dishwasher tablets, paper towels, liquid soap, dishwashing brushes, household napkins, laundry detergent, toilet paper.
* Phone: 20 € for 500 minutes, 500 SMS and unlimited mobile internet. You can call the Baltic countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark at the same rate.
* Help for a friend: 1000 R per month.
* Clothes: on average 10 € per month.
* Transport: travel costs 1.5 € during rush hour and 1.1 € at other times. An e-ticket is valid on all buses, except for intercity buses, for two hours.
* Entertainment: before the pandemic, we went to a business lunch about once a week, spending 11 € per person on it. There was a buffet that included salad, soup, hot dish and dessert.
* Sports: usually free. Slalom lessons at the ski lodge, lunch and a hotel for three days cost 150 € per person. Lift pass 20 €.
* Learning languages: free. I study English and Spanish. Every day I do assignments at Duolingo and once a week I spend an hour and a half with a teacher. The lessons are paid for by a charitable project to support elderly people from Russia.
“We have a common budget. I transfer all my receipts to our account, and my husband - 900 €. We discuss all purchases. Every month I enter the amount of the account balance in a notebook on my phone. This allows you to track your expenses. Usually, the balance will grow by 100-200 € per month. I also track my monthly spending in my mobile bank..."
You can read more about the life of a pensioner here.